Julie Verhoeven has developed a cult following for her whimsical fashion illustration style and for spring/summer 2009, Donatella Versace commissioned her to rework the Versace iconography. The result was colourful, cartoonish Medusa's scrawled across bags, gowns, and swimwear.
From what I have seen Julie Verhoeven's work always has an extremely interesting point of view, if not a little strange or possibly unique. I've studied her work in the past and It's never really spoken to me as something I genuinely like, but while researching her deeper (because I really do want to like her) I found the Versace Spring collection from 2009 and you know what I may be converted. To be quite honest I've never really like much of Versace's collections either, though this one has completely changed my view on them. I find the colours beautifully vivid in tone but with pastel flashes which in turn create a more calm background for the cartoon Medusa's.
In my opinion these garments which are pieces of art in there own right and I would feel nervous wearing one because there is just so much going on in each piece ( as well as that I'm incredibly clumsy and tend to spill stuff all the time!) I feel the mood of these walking works of art is almost ocean and seas because if you look closely at the photographs above the the structure of the blue gown and how the fabric cascades down to the floor its almost like the waves in the ocean. Then if you work up to the next image there are sea shells and the tones of the skirt are like sandy shades and I'm sure if you looked really closely at this piece you could find a mermaid basking in the sun on a rock jutting out of the waves (or is that just my imagination running away with me?) One of my favourite items of this collection is the top dress, though I have to say they are all exquisite it's just the sheer scale of this dress which brings it to the front of my mind.
I wish I could just get hold of this dress somehow and spread all the fabric out flat on the floor and try and figure out stories between each illustration and character because this is how I see a number of these garments the drawings are in fact characters and each garment or accessory has a different story to tell or adventure to show you. I'm probably starting to sound a little far fetched now but you can blame this on years of reading books and being forced to watch star wars one to many times!
Julie Verhoeven has also collaborated with some designer brands including Louis Vuitton and mulberry as well as working with h+m home, lancome juicy tubes and a number of restaurants and stores. I think this shows Julie really knows how to play to her strengths and this has helped her push illustration into the fashion forward world.